New Benelli ETHOS shotgun: Hands-On

At SHOT Show Media Day, I got some hands-on time with the new Benelli ETHOS 12 ga shotgun.


That’s not me, but rather, a Benelli marketing guy.

As the owner of a Benelli Vinci shotgun, I’m well acquainted with how well the Benelli platform works, but I’m also acquainted with its shortcomings. One of them is that the Vinci and its Inertia-Driven recoil system cannot handle light 7/8oz loads very well, often resulting in jams.

However, with the new ETHOS line, the bolt has been modified and Benelli has a new “Progressive Comfort” buttstock which has some unique innards to help manage lighter 7/8oz loads, and the recoil.



The ETHOS shot 7/8oz loads great, and it seems like Benelli made some useful modifications. The walnut is a really nice touch, and the gun shoots well. The ETHOS line is not breaking any new ground, but these enhancements may be appreciated by both new shooters and veteran shotgunners.

The ETHOS marketing campaign at SHOT Show was quite interesting and eye-catching. They had a large display with a motorcycle, the shotguns, and then two female violinists. When the video started playing on TV, the violinists would play the soundtrack in realtime and so it was like getting a free concert.


Marketing fluff aside, I was impressed with my first interaction with the Benelli ETHOS shotgun, and I look forward to the next time I get to shoot it. Hopefully it’ll be for a hunt!

Chris Cheng

Chris Cheng is History Channel’s Top Shot Season 4 champion and author of “Shoot to Win,” a book for beginning shooters. A self-taught amateur turned pro through his Top Shot win, Cheng very much still considers himself an amateur who parachuted into this new career.

He is a professional marksman for Bass Pro Shops who shares his thoughts and experiences from the perspective of a newbie to the shooting community. He resides in San Francisco, CA and works in Silicon Valley.


  • strongarm

    Benelli “Ethos” is the latest aproach to clear some “Inertia Driven” system shortcomings
    like; needing full recoil to cycling the action, weakness on working light loads and finger
    pinch on loading the magazine and, especially the latest is a true defect that easily could
    be overcome at the time of initial debut since big brother “Beretta” was using a two piece
    shell latch already at that time.

    But, most important weakness of needing a critical mass to obtain sufficient motional
    energy for fully cycling the action is going on. That is, addition weights on the gun will
    prevent its working; The cause which forced the company to develop the gas operated

  • Giolli Joker

    Nice marketing “booth”, but the Confederate motorcycle, although cool, could had been replaced with a comparable Italian motorcycle.

  • gunslinger

    are you sure that’s not you? i mean, the hat? but the beard, i think, is a dead giveaway!

  • ak1134

    Hows the weird band in the background pic… Are they using Violin wood in the butt stock?

    • M.M.D.C.

      No, they’re playing for spare rounds of 22.